This past Sunday of the Last Judgment set before us the end of our journey The Lord’s saving victory over death and sin. Pascha. It is on that blessed day that we enter the empty tomb and even participate in this victory over death, the “last enemy” (1Cor. 15:26). It calls the whole world to participate, regardless of who they are, where they are from, or what they do. Yet our Lenten journey and participation in this feast of feasts is fruitless, if not fatal if we show up on that blessed third day with resentment and indifference in our hearts towards the “least of these” (Mt. 25: 40/45), those who are hungry and thirsty, are strangers, naked, sick or in prison.
Indeed His victory on that saving day, foreshadows that last and great day and our judgement. His Resurrection confronts us with His love for humanity, and the question is whether we have journeyed to this day with that same love? He has fed our lives with the never ending joy of His victory over death, quenching our thirst for life in a lifeless world; but have we offered even the crumbs of hope to those starving, or shed a tear for dried up by sin? He has suffered shame, and injustice, violence and poverty, becoming “obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil 2:7-8), that we might not be alone and a stranger in our times of shame, injustice, violence and poverty; but have we offered even a warm word or prayer for those who are strangers, that they might feel loved? He has clothed us in the light of the Resurrection, but have we ever clothed with the most modest garments of care and concern, those stripped of dignity and love by sin? His pierced hands, feet, and side, are the marks of His love for humanity, a witness to the healing of our wounded hearts and the mortal sickness of our nature, bringing forth our proclamation “My Lord and my God”(Jn. 20:28); but have our wounds borne witness to our love of God and neighbour, or brought forth anything but bitterness and pain? He has smashed the gates of death, bringing “liberty to captives” (Is. 61:1/ Lk. 4:16) and those in the bondage of sin; but have we released, let alone unlocked, the chains bonds we shackle our brothers and sisters with?
This journey to Lent, and this journey to Pascha is ultimately a journey to the end of our life and to our judgement. “Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live…and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation”(Jn. 5:25/29). As we prepare for this journey, we are implored to look beyond our indifference and malice, and see the judgement of love revealed in the Lord’s Resurrection. Inclining our hearts to that divine love that feeds, gives drink, visits, heals, clothes and liberates the “least of these” manifested to us and those with us on that beautiful and saving third day. May we have the eyes and hearts to enter the empty tomb with that love.